COVID-19 Vaccines and People with Epilepsy
Vaccine information available in translation
- Arabic - لقاحات COVID-19 ومرضى إضطراب كهربيه المخ ( الصرع)
- Chinese (China, Singapore and Malaysia) - 癫痫患者与新型冠状病毒肺炎疫苗
- Chinese (Traditional: Hong Kong, Taiwan) - 2019冠狀狀病毒的疫苗已經獲得批準並正在世界各地進⾏行行接種。
- English - see below
- Farsi - توصیه های مرتبط با واکسیناسیون کووید 19 در بیماران مبتلا به صرع
- French - Vaccins COVID-19 et personnes épileptiques
- German - COVID-19 Impfung für Patientinnen und Patienten mit Epilepsie
- Greek - Εμβολιασμός κατά του κορωνοϊού COVID-19 και άτομα με επιληψία
- Italian - I vaccini COVID-19 e le persone con epilessia
- Japanese - 新型コロナウイルス（COVID-19）ワクチンとてんかんをもつ人（日本語訳 原稿）
- Malay - Vaksin COVID-19 dan penghidap epilepsi
- Russian - Вакцинация от COVID-19 и люди с эпилепсией
- Spanish - La vacunación contra la COVID 19 en pacientes con epilepsia
- Swahili - Chanjo za COVID-19 na wagonjwa wa Kifafa
Updated: 21 February 2022
Vaccines against COVID-19 are now available. We recommend that people with epilepsy should receive a COVID-19 vaccine if offered; this includes booster doses. For people with epilepsy, the risk of COVID-19 infection and potential complications far outweighs the risk of possible side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine.
There is currently no evidence to suggest that having epilepsy is specifically associated with a higher risk of side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine including seizures. As with other vaccines, a fever can develop after a COVID-19 vaccination. Fever could increase the chance of having a seizure in some people. Antipyretics (e.g. paracetamol/acetaminophen) taken regularly for 48 hours after the vaccination (or for the duration of fever) will minimize this risk.
Before you receive a COVID-19 vaccine, make sure to let your vaccination provider know that you have epilepsy or any other chronic disorders, as well as any other important medical information, such as:
- Allergies, especially an allergy within to any ingredient in the vaccine
- Allergic reactions to prior vaccines (e.g. flu vaccine)
- Current or recent (the last week) fever or infection
- Any other serious illnesses, especially malignancies requiring chemotherapy
- All medications you are taking, especially medications that suppress the immune system (e.g. immunomodulatory or immunosuppressive medicines) or anticoagulants.
- If you are pregnant or nursing, or plan to become pregnant
As with any vaccine, you should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. You should not receive a further dose if you had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose.
The vaccine has been shown to be safe in pregnancy, and is important to protect mother and baby.
If you already received the COVID-19 vaccine, it is important to continue to follow public health guidance as advised by your local authorities which may include wearing a mask and social distancing. The current vaccines reduce your risk of getting sick from COVID-19 by up to 90%, depending on the vaccine, but vaccinated people may still spread COVID-19 to others without knowing they are carrying it.
COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A (Epilepsy Foundation)
COVID-19 Vaccination (Epilepsy Foundation)
Epilepsy Society’s Medical Director reassures people with epilepsy over Covid-19 vaccine (Epilepsy Society UK)
COVID-19 Vaccine and Epilepsy (Living Well with Epilepsy)
COVID-19 advice for the public: Getting vaccinated (World Health Organization)
Subscribe to the ILAE Newsletter
To subscribe, please click on the button below.
Please send me information about ILAE activities and other
information of interest to the epilepsy community